What Makes You Last Longer in Bed

You’re about to finally seal the deal with a new partner. Things are going beyond great you two are totally feeling each other, and you can’t wait to get home to your place and finish what the two of you started at the bar. But as soon as things get going, you realize that it’s all happening too fast and you can’t stop yourself from finishing early. The key to getting a handle on premature ejaculation is to understand what it is, what causes it and what can be done in order to prevent it from happening. Here’s a guide to everything you need to know about premature ejaculation.

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1: What Is Premature Ejaculation?

Medically speaking, premature ejaculation is determined by two things — the lack of control a man has over when he ejaculates, and whether or not he and his partner are satisfied with the duration that he lasts for. According to urologist Dr. Peter Stahl, there are different varieties of this condition. “Premature ejaculation comes in two variants: lifelong and acquired, which have slightly different definitions,” he explains.

“Lifelong premature ejaculation is generally defined as ejaculation that almost always occurs within one minute, is difficult or impossible to delay, and is associated with distress or bother. Lifelong premature ejaculation is a true neurobiological predisposition to ejaculate early. Acquired premature ejaculation is different and usually related to anxiety or other sexual dysfunction.” What Real Women Say: “I dated a guy once who wouldn’t sleep with me for several months,” says Casey, 26.

“While I usually don’t rush into things sexually with new partners, I did think that the behavior was strange — to the point that I questioned where things were going, and whether or not he was actually interested in me. When we finally did sleep together it became extremely clear that the reason why he wasn’t rushing to do the deed was that he finished very quickly. We did it again a few more times and the same thing kept happening — although I did find that the more we drank beforehand the longer he lasted, though it still wasn’t ever anywhere beyond a few minutes long. In retrospect, I should have said something — I would’ve been willing to try things that would have maybe helped. But instead, we started to see less and less of each other until things ended.”

2: Why Does It Happen?

As Dr. Stahl explained, there are two different types of premature ejaculation. One is caused by a neurobiological predisposition to ejaculate early. If you have this type of premature ejaculation, it’s likely something that you’ve experienced since you first became sexually active. But as for acquired premature ejaculation, there are plenty of factors that can cause this. “Acquired premature ejaculation, in contrast, can be caused by relationship anxiety, an intensity of arousal, and other sexual dysfunction,” Dr. Stahl says. “Erectile dysfunction is actually commonly associated with acquired premature ejaculation, and treatment of the erection problem often cures the ejaculatory problem.”

Another factor that can cause premature ejaculation is when the body’s sympathetic response (our body’s “fight or flight” reaction) is triggered by sex. “Sexual contact makes most everyone have some sympathetic arousal,” explains sex therapist Michael J. Salas. “However, for some, this can happen even more rapidly, with more intensity. With so much intensity, the body does what it needs to do to deactivate some of this arousal. It can come from a variety of sources. Sometimes the person has some hangups about sex.

Premature ejaculation can also happen due to complications with feeling the physical signals that you’re going to ejaculate. “Some men who have premature ejaculation have difficulties with the sensations that tell most men that they may reach a point of sexual ‘no return,” Salas explains. “Meaning that they have to ejaculate if they cross this point.” According to tantra instructor Helena Nisa, personal masturbation habits also come into play with premature ejaculation. “Many men first learn to self-pleasure when they’re teenagers and they form a habit of touching themselves in a very quick, efficient way in order to avoid getting caught,” she says.

3: What Does It Mean For Your Masculinity?

You know what it is and what causes it — but regardless of the facts, the social stigma that premature ejaculation somehow means you’re less of a man is still something that those who suffer from this problem have to deal with. But clinically speaking, premature ejaculation doesn’t mean that you’re any less masculine. “Premature ejaculation says nothing about masculinity at all,” says Salas. “Although, many men are shamed for it, and ashamed of it. In working with this, it’s important to help people understand that sex is a broad array of connection that is more than just intercourse.

Experiencing premature ejaculation delivers a blow to one’s self-esteem — and can have long-term effects. “Men want to be known for their prowess,” says holistic practitioner Sheri Brown. “When a man feels he cannot perform or satisfy sexually they feel like a failure. This wreaks havoc on a man’s self-confidence. Men start avoiding sex, feeling depressed and have anxiety when they think about sex. This can create a mental anxiety that lasts longer than the original cause of the symptoms.”

What Real Women Say: “When we first met, my now husband was dealing with premature ejaculation,” says Krista, 31. “We worked in the same office building, and after the first night, we had sex he didn’t speak to me for days afterward. I finally cornered him in the parking lot (which he still jokes about) being like what the hell? We had a straight up conversation about it, and he admitted that he hadn’t seen a doctor about it. It turns out it was actually a simple fix — switching the medication that he was on. But had he gotten this checked out earlier, he probably wouldn’t have been single when I met him.”

4: Techniques To Prevent It

If you’re experiencing premature ejaculation, your first move should be to pay a visit to your doctor in order to rule out any health issues that may be causing the problem. Once you’ve made sure there are no health-related complications, the next step would be to explore a few methods and techniques in order to prevent it. As far as holistic techniques go, Nista recommends tantric practices. “Men who apply tantric practices develop mastery over their erections and arousal, stay deeply mindful of their bodies and enjoy pleasure beyond anything that they’ve experienced before,”

Taking time to consciously relax is important in tantric practices, and can also help with premature ejaculation. “When we’re relaxed, our sexual energy and arousal can flow freely through the entire body instead of remaining stuck in the genital area,” Nista explains. “Men learn early to tense up the muscles in their bodies as they become aroused, and that tension is exactly what triggers the ejaculatory response. When the arousal is stuck in the genitals, held there by muscle tension, it cannot move and soon the pressure becomes too much for the body to hold. As the erotic charge is released, we reach an orgasmic climax and lose all arousal and sexual energy.”

While these practices take time to master, Nista says putting in the work will be well worth it. “Working with relaxation, breath, and presence in a consistent way during masturbation and partner sex will rewire the nervous system and teach the body to remain in the state of arousal for much longer,” she says. “This will create a beautiful, effortless experience of lovemaking, full of not only control and pleasure but also connection and deep intimacy. Tantra provides a wonderful alternative to quick, frustrating sexual encounters.”

5: Sex Positions That Help Prevent It

Choosing the right sex position strategically can also help with premature ejaculation. According to Brown, the “Yab Yum” position practiced in Tantra is one that’s well suited for this. “Yab Yum is where the male is sitting [criss-crossed], with the female partner facing the male sitting on top of him. Her legs are wrapped around his waist, giving both partners control of sensations.” This position is also used to get both partner’s sexual energies aligned. “Yab Yum aligns the chakras (energy center located in the body) between the couple bringing deep sexual pleasure and awakening,” Brown says.

According to sex and relationship expert Dr. Kat Van Kirk, the woman on top positions are ideal for men that are dealing with premature ejaculation. Because the woman is in control, it takes the pressure of leading the effort off the man. One position that works particularly well is a reverse cowgirl, which limits your visuals to help delay the process. The man lies flat on his back, the woman is on top and facing away from him.

Another position that helps prevent premature ejaculation is the side by side. “This position doesn’t allow for full penetration and can slow response down,” Dr. Van Kirk explains. To do this, both partners lay on their side, and he enters her from behind — kind of like spooning, but you’re also having sex.

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